IMPH Releases Data Brief on Updated Uninsured Data

Most South Carolinians have health insurance coverage of some kind.  However, based on the most recent census data available, 16.8% of South Carolinians are not insured, which is higher than the national average of 14.8%.  The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health’s latest issue brief, “A Profile of the Uninsured in South Carolina,” summarizes the newest data on the uninsured released from the American Community Survey (ACS) at the state, county and congressional district levels.

A lack of health insurance is shown to negatively impact the health of individuals.  Those without health insurance tend to be sicker and die at an earlier age than those who have health insurance.  The uninsured typically lack regular recommended health screenings and preventive services crucial in identifying and preventing chronic diseases.

Maya Pack, Associate Director at IMPH states, “We know that having health insurance coverage impacts health outcomes.  IMPH exists to improve the health of South Carolina and to provide information to help inform policy related to public health and healthcare.  It is important for decision makers to know that there is still a significant portion of our population that lacks health care coverage and what the possible implications are for the health of our state.”

The report also reviews changes to the insurance and health coverage environment in South Carolina.

The brief is based on 2012 data released in December 2013.  Current news reports and national surveys (though not census data) have discussed potential changes to the uninsured population, though county-level data is not available at this time.   Resources for additional information include:

Post and Courier (April 7, 2014): “Nearly 100,000 in S.C. Enroll in Obamacare Insurance”  (Note: Viewing this article may require a subscription)

“Nearly 100,000 South Carolinians enrolled in a health insurance policy on between Oct. 1 and March 31, the director of the state’s insurance department said Monday.”

RAND Corporation report (2014):  “Changes in Health Insurance”

“The analysis presented here examines changes in health insurance enrollment between September 2013 and March 2014; overall, we estimate that 9.3 million more people had health care coverage in March 2014, lowering the uninsured rate from 20.5 percent to 15.8 percent.  This increase in coverage is driven not only by enrollment in health insurance marketplace plans, but also by gains in employer-sponsored insurance and Medicaid.”

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (April 3, 2014): “Survey: 5.4 Million Americans Gained Health Insurance Since September 2013”

“Data released today show 5.4 million U.S. adults gained health insurance since September 2013—the first available estimate of how many uninsured people acquired coverage since enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces began.”

For the full issue brief, please visit the following link: “A Profile of the Uninsured in South Carolina”


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